Monday 11 April 2016

A bit of a holiday

Hello dear friends and readers,

Thankyou so much for all your kind and thoughtful replies on my last post. It really does help to know that people are keeping me in their thoughts and prayers.

We had planned 2 weeks in N Ireland over Easter and we were all ready to go when we got the news that my Dad had passed away. As we were all packed we travelled over as planned but what should have been a holiday obviously really wasn't that at all. Mostly I was with my Mum and my brother arranging the funeral and so forth, while hubby entertained the kids - i.e. they watched DVDs and played on their iPads. We did manage a few days out though, and I thought I'd share some photos with you....

First though I have some rather exciting news. Can't remember if I mentioned this before but after years of dithering we took the massive (and expensive!) step of buying a holiday home in N.Ireland. It's in a really small town quite close to my Mum's house, and our plan was always to go over loads in the holidays and see a bit more of my Mum and Dad. I'm really sad that my Dad never got to see us in the house, but at least now we have it so I can go over to be with Mum a bit more. Its a new-build, we had no intention of buying a new-build - but we saw it (well, we saw the show house anyway!) and fell in love with the location. The houses are on the edge of the small town Donaghadee which is on the coast. It's approached by a country road and takes about 7 minutes drive from my Mum's. There is a wonderful garden centre with fabulous cafe and gift-shop near our house, and in the town itself there are not 1 but 2 ice-cream shops! What more could you want!

Donaghadee is home to Ireland's oldest pub Grace Neill's ( which dates back to the 1600's, and there is a fab family restaurant called Pier36 which we've been to many times in the past with my folks. We didn't manage it this time but there'll be plenty more visits I'm sure 😀 Pier36 is the cream coloured building 2 along from the bright yellow one below. The bright yellow one is a new one opened by the same owners as Pier36 - but they don't allow children in! At all! I don't think we'll be frequenting there much!!

The houses along the sea-front are all postcard pretty. Honestly you feel like you're in an episode of a children's TV programme (remember Balamory any CBeebies Mums out there ?!)

On the right hand side of this photo below you can see the bunting which was hung all along the se front and boy was it whipping in the wind!

There's a lovely promenade, and on a clear day you can see all the way over the Irish Sea to Scotland, as Donaghadee is the most easterly point in N.Ireland.

Donaghadee is also famed for it's lighthouse, we didn't walk right out to it but I did manage to get a couple of pics.

I especially like this photo below showing the harbour and the opening to the Irish Sea.

.... and this one looking back across to the promenade, so pretty ....

There is even a castle! I've visited Donagahadee many many many times as a child but I never knew there was a castle til this time! One to investigate on another visit 😃

As our house is new, everything in it is new too! The hubby does not go in for vintage or antique or rustic even, so I'm afraid everything is from a certain Swedish furniture chain! I've managed to sneak in a few cushions and pretty things though, and next visit hubby can't come due to work, so it will just be me and the Little Peeps, I have my eye on a couple of charity shops and he'll be none the wiser ....

In the meantime though here are a few wee pics of the "nice" things ......

....lovely muted colours in this cushion cover ....

.... delicious apple scented candle, next to swedish (fake - so it won't die lol) house pant, I rather liked the little bamboo-ish pot ....

.... we got some lovely new home cards from family, but my favourite is this one that my hubby bought for me ....

.... my brother and sister-in-law gave us this lovely print of the Donaghadee lighthouse ....

.... and another lovely candle ....

.... in the kitchen everything is quite plain. It do you like my Orla Kiely-esque tea caddy ? I just loved the colours ....

.... and some lovely pussy-willow that was in a little bouquet that some friends gave me. I'm hoping it will dry nicely and just be perfect forever .... doesn't it look gorgeous laying in the sunlight ....

My cousin also gave me this enjoy the little things" china heart, so sweet ....

And of course I have to have a crochet project on the go in our holiday house - I bought, and had delivered straight to Donaghadee, Lucy from Attic24's Coastal Ripple pack. I'm doing the ripple blanket exactly to her pattern, after all who wants to be having angst about stripe sequence on holiday when someone has already done the hard work for you!

I didn't have a lot of crocheting time but managed a few stripes 😊

It's time to go and fetch the Little Peeps from school, so I shall say goodbye for now, wishing you love and hugs,


  1. Sounds exciting even if the that last visit didn't go as planned. Your new place looks lovely and seems like it will be handy in the years to come --(I'll put this down as another place to stop in at if I ever return to Ireland.)

  2. Such exciting news, a beautiful new holiday home.

  3. How lovely for you and your Mum. Enjoy. :-)

  4. It will be good for you to be a little closer to your mum at times, lovely news xx

  5. I am so glad you managed to enjoy a few happy moments despite the sad occasion of your visit. I remember going on a holiday with my mum soon after my dad's death, a holiday we had booked long before he was ill. It was sad and beautiful at the same time and at times I felt guilty for experiencing happy moments. It will be so nice for you all to be able to visit your mum more often, and still have a place for you and your family to retreat. xx
    P.S. I am answering your questions about my quilt in the comments because you are a no reply blogger and here would be a bit out of context.

  6. Oh, what a lovely place you have! I adore your Lucy ripple. I have one her throws in progress myself. She is such a master of color that you are right about just letting her work it out for you.

  7. Congratulations on your new house. What a magical place. The British Islands are just so beautiful. And a castle, too. You are sure to have many wonderful times there!

  8. What a charming and beautiful place Jill! I think it will be so wonderful to have a place you can go to regularly and see your Mom more.

    Still sending prayers & hugs to you All as you continue to heal.
    Blessings. xoxo

  9. Jill, in the midst of adjusting to the new normal in your family, I am happy that you are able to feather a new nest near you mum. After the death of my husband almost seven years ago, I very much treasured time with my adult children and grandchildren and am now living with at least some of them which is a joy. I answered your question about the yarn I used after your blog comment because you are a no-reply blogger...just wanted you to know I was not ignoring your question :) xxxxxxx

  10. I'm so happy for you that you got to get a brand new holiday house near your mum so you can visit her often. How far a journey is it to get there? Do you fly or drive? I hope you show us interior shots when you've got your nest feathered. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  11. I'm so glad that you will be able to visit your Mom easily. Even though the circumstances aren't as you would have wished them, it's still very exciting to have a new vacation home. It is something we've always wished for but have not been able to do so. It would be so much fun decorating a new home too! Your blanket is looking very pretty. I agree that it is nice when someone else does the planning sometimes. :-)

  12. I really enjoyed seeing your photos of N.Ireland as I don't know much about that part of the world. Your new home and its location sounds wonderful - I hope you spend many happy times there. The ripple blanket you're making will be perfect and is looking good already. Look forward to more pics as you progress with it. xox

  13. glad you managed some happy moments in a sad time. Exciting news about the house, wishing you many happy memories there xxx

  14. Thanks for saying 'Hello' over at mine...will pop back later for an in depth read! xx

  15. I am so excited for you, a vacation home near your Mom is perfect! And being so near the sea will be so restorative for you. IT sounds like a lovely town and your home is going to be perfect! Sending you a hug,

  16. I am new to your blog. Sorry to arrive just when you have experienced a loss. I hope you enjoy your new holiday home. Mum will benefit from having you nearby.

  17. Your new holiday home is just lovely and I'm sure you will have a great time adding all those personal touches that make a house a home. Your Mum must be so pleased to have you so close for visits. You will all love exploring the area together and making new memories. Enjoy!
    Jenn M

  18. So sorry to hear your sad news. I'm sure that your mum will value having you nearby all the more now, and spring is a good time to furnish and decorate a new home. It looks a very sweet place to be.
    Cathy x

  19. A new era opening as the last one ends, so often the way Jill. What a perfect looking little town, I am sure we will be seeing lots of blog posts from your holiday home in the future. And yes, I remember Balamory very well! Isaac and Jacob used to say I looked like Miss Hooley (?) the nursery teacher. I was devastated but tried not to show it.......... x

  20. First, I am so sorry to hear the sad news of the loss of your Dad, and send you my deepest condolences. The new holiday house near your Mum was meant to be, I think.... It all looks so lovely there, such pretty coloured houses and wonderful sea views. Sending love x
    Helen xox

  21. This is such exciting news! Something to look forward to everytime!Lots of love from Mirjam.

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